{holidays}: the new year

{I've kept adding and adding to this, so i think it will be revisited a bit before it's done.}
This year has been a year of great kindnesses for us. We have been blessed by so many more than we could ever know. We have been showered with love, support, gifts, advice, and food:
  • Thank you to all of you that pay your taxes. You paid for my Zofran, prenatal care, and childbirth. Without medicaid I could not have survived my pregnancy (literally) and would not have the beautiful baby I have today.
  • Thank you for the baby gifts and help. We needed it.
  • Thank you to my Relief Society for providing meals for 2 weeks instead of one.
  • Thank you Jessa, for lifting my spirits and coming to visit for my birthday-I needed you then.
  • Thank you for your help, all of you at the Bridal Show. I could not have done it without all of you!
  • Thank you, ALL of you that helped us move. We physically would not have been able to do it alone-I was getting big then.
  • Thank you too the wonderful people that take care of our housing-we are so blessed to live in such a clean, friendly environment.
  • Thank you to all of Jon's professors for letting him off the hook every now and again.
  • Thank you Shroomies for feeding us. You have kept my husband alive!
  • Thank you all our friends for going on picnics, camping, swimming, and sitting on our couch to watch movies. We love you all and need your support.
  • Thank you Jon Cross for the Chinese food. It has never tasted better than when you brought it to us.
  • Thank you parents, all of you, for everything.
  • Thank you Dave for everything. Especially for posting every season of the Office and Flight of the Concords on the server. That got me through the last of the pregnancy
  • Thank you Christina...you poor woman stuck with me in the August heat and grumpiness.
  • Thank you Anna for offering me the job-we miss you.
  • Thank you for the Christmas Cookies and delicious Cinnamon rolls...mmmm...
  • Thank you for coming to the blessing...it was wonderful to have you all meet our baby girl
  • Thank you for visiting in the hospital...I love you all.
  • Thanks for coming to visit me in my store-I love seeing friends!
  • Thank you to everyone for everything. We love you all and have had quite the year. I can't imagine what is in store for us in 2010!
  • Thank you Sarah, for your blog and telling me you can't spoil a newborn. I've passed that on to many...
  • Oh, and thank you, whoever left a washer and dryer on our back porch. I don't even know what to say it was such a surprise. At least let us know who it was so we can hug you...


{consumer report}: chocolate

I feel qualified to recommend good chocolate. I love it. I crave it. It physically makes me feel better (I may or may not have an addiction). On my worst days, chocolate picks me up. It has magically healed everything from cramps to headaches. I love good chocolate. And I like it dark and creamy. So, without further explanation...my picks for best chocolate.

I actually typically buy this as a chocolate chip. Not only do I cook with them, but I do love to snack on them frozen. They are perfect for a sweet little pick me up at the end of a long day, and they give chocolate chip cookies a bit of a richer taste. Love it.

I have not yet been able to find this regularly in the United States. I became hooked on this particular brand of chocolate in Germany, and I also found it in Mexico. It is the only milk chocolate that I really, really love. It is so creamy with such a smooth filling...and they make kinder eggs that come with prizes so really its a win-win.

I LOVE Ritter Sport. It is available at Wal-mart sometimes and always Target. The marzipan in something you MUST try if you haven't ever. You must. I promise.

This is the chocolate of my pregnancy. This is what I craved. Once again, Ritter Sport. Love them. This dark chocolate is so wonderful, and I LOVE hazelnuts. I would make trips to Target when I was prego just to buy one of these...wonderful! These are also especially delicious when frozen-for some reason I like the chocolate to be crunchy with the nuts.

Their truffles are to die for as well, but too rich for my everyday chocolate needs. This is a very dark chocolate, not their darkest, but very dark, and oh, so good. Just a couple nibbles of this is enough to settle down my chocolate cravings and it is so rich in antioxidants that I feel the need to justify eating it every chance I get...is that so wrong?

Ok, so I lied when I said Kinder was the only milk chocolate that I love. Once you try Milka, Hersheys will taste like the chocolate flavored wax it is. It is the smoothest most melt-oh so gently-in-your-mouth chocolate that there is. I was beyond excited to see that Target has started to carry it regularly...this became a fav in Germany and I'm glad to see it in the states!

Well, that is all for my bit on my chocolate addiction...I've got chocolate chips to tend to...


{my nightstand}: current reads

I'm re-reading Twilight. I've seen the movie too many times and the book really is better. It makes me very disappointed in the movie. The book actually develops their relationship where the movie does not. And Bella and Edward actually have chemistry in the book, which is viciously lacking in the movie. Overall, it's been a good re-read.

I'm also reading the BOM. Again. I skipped the first part and went straight to Helaman. I've read 1 Nephi too many times, enough to last a life time, so I now skip around when ever I read it. I skip Alma often because its hard to read about battle after war after battle. I know there's a point in the end, it's just not my favorite. And I always leave Moroni for the last-I think he's one of my favorites, and I like all his chapters. I always pictured him as an awesome Grandpa-the kind that tells you crazy stories about the war or something...

This book is out of necessity. It is wonderful. If I was every to recommend a parenting book-this is it. I love having a heads up of what's next, what to freak out about, what to not freak out about, and really how to get through things. For example, sippy cups. I never had thought twice about them, and they have an entire chapter about rethinking ever giving them to your child. Its interesting...

And of course, I am america and so can you. This book is FUNNY. Really, really funny, and perfect for nights when I get scared and can't go back to sleep. And just to mix it up a little. I love it. Steven Colbert is hilarious.


{update}: true joy

I have sat here and giggled with my baby for 5 minutes now. Nothing is more wonderful than this...
It sounds weird, and this is Jon's cell phone video, but that really is her...


{holidays}: christmas

So this year for christmas I got a double electric breast pump:
moo. I hate being an adult.


{memories}: photography

Rachel and I have a folder called "april's behind." I flipped through it and it made me laugh so I thought I would share with you. It's a bunch of our test shot that we somehow land ourselves in...

These last two were donations from other photographers...


{update}: big trouble for me

So, I have a baby crocidile. If you get your hand anywhere near her little mouth, she will snap at you and try and bite you. That actually isn't why I'm in big trouble, even though you would think that would be a bit of a problem (and it can be when she trys to bite everyone and everything...). My trouble is that my child fussed and fussed and fussed at me today. She was fed, changed, warm, everything. I was checking my e-mail and some other things bouncing her in her bouncy chair and she was fussing and fussing and fussing. I was even talking to her the entire time, confused as to why she was fussing. Finally, I picked her up and laid her facing me on my chest and asked her what was wrong. She proceded to look me straight in the eye, two inches from my face and tell me a story for a solid 3 minutes-estatic to have my undivided attention. And this was a story-no doubt about it. She had all the inflection and drama that a good story would have. After the story she was content to merely look at things around her and tell me about all of them, and was certainly not ok with being put down to explain all this. Once she had my attention, she wasn't about to give it up! And this is why I'm in trouble. I reproduced...and we got another me...


{inquiry}: balance?

I have a sugar addiction. a severe sugar additction. I said I would blog about it, and that time has come. You see, beyond that severe sugar addiction is my crazy schedule. Currently I work 40-50 hours a week, when I'm not at work, I'm sleeping or feeding my baby. Now you would think that with all the breastfeeding, working on my feet and running around that I'm doing I wouldn't also have a weight problem. And it's not even that I don't want to work out or that I can't make a little bit of time, its that my body and feet hurt so much when I'm not working that the only things I can get myself to do is laundry and housecleaning. and feed my baby. Now, back to the sugar addiction. With the joyous holiday season, eggnog, cookies and an array of other delicous sweets have invaded not only my personal refridgerator but also my work space. Oddly where I cannot find time to work out, I certainly find time to eat. So while I was able to get rid of my pregancncy weight, I'm not shaped the same way I was pre-pregnancy and it makes me believe I will never wear a swimsuit again. ever. Oh, and to top it off, Jon bought himself a chin-up bar and offered to let me work out on that. right. I still to this day have never been able to do a pull-up. And I'm currently considered obese. I don't want to be obese anymore.

So with all of that back story:

  1. How do I get over my sugar addiction without feeling like I'm depriving myself? I like to have something sweet after every meal and I hate looking a plate of cookies and not eating any. And I don't have the self control to have just one. I try. One becomes four very quickly.

  2. I know that swimming is a great exercise option that will not further inflame my already sore feet and body but when? I don't actually see my husband as it is and asking him to continue to watch Paisley while I go do things like swim makes me feel bad for shortening the small amount of time I have with them when we're all awake.

  3. I don't want to be obese anymore. I need help.

Thank you for your participation. Oh and I tried gum chewing too, and it doesn't work. I figured out that if I just spit the gum out then I can cram more food in my mouth.


{update}: paisley, among other things

Paisley has discovered her voice. We have gone from a happy quiet baby that sleeps often, to a wide awake baby who whines and talks always. always. she must make noise. Unfortunately for Jon (the mother figure in our family) this is his absolute top pet peeve, and close to the top of my list as well. The gurgles and sighs and trills are cute and fun, it's the continual uh-uh-uh-uh whine that can bring us to a snapping point. We're thinking that she just likes to make noise and hear the sound of her own voice (Jon says she is so much like me already it's scary). She has decided that she wants to sit up, by herself and no longer enjoys the recline of the boucy chair, and the bumbo is too confining (did I forget to mention that she can't yet sit up by herself? She can't, but she wants to). So to sum it up, she is growing and progressing far too fast and healthy and wonderful as can be. We love her, growling continual whine and all. Work is hard. It's long. I logged around 55 hours last week and I'm glad to have a day off. I have to keep reminding myself that black friday is on friday and its all downhill from there. Jon is so done with school. I think we've both reached a breaking point and fortunately the end is in sight. I hope.


{rant}: photography

I've really put off ranting about this, but I saw yet another blog with yet another photographer who sucks at photography. Now, I am not saying that Rachel and I are the very best photographers on the planet. What I am saying is that we invested A LOT of school, time, money and equipment into what we do. We actually have professional equipment. We actually went to school for photography and digital motion picture production. We took classes in how to do things the right way. We've attended things like WPPI and worked hard to make a break into the wedding industry here in St George by advertising and putting on booths in the wedding show. We competed with the 60 other photographers last year and got voted for the cover of St George's Wedding magazine. Yet business is slow, and everyone is hiring crappy neighbors over us that just have a "cool" camera and learned how to use Photoshop Elements or some other crappy computer program. Why did I bother doing college at all? It makes me so crazy because now that digital has taken over, everyone with an SLR thinks they are a photographer, and they're not. Not at all. Go do the work if you want to charge people money! Pay business license fees, property taxes and sales taxes! Why do we bother doing things the right way??!!? Grrrr. I just get so fed up with it all. And really, not as much anymore because I'm too busy as of yet to even pick up a camera, but really that's what I would like to be busy doing...


{adulthood}: sux

I think I'm done being an adult. It was fun. I quit. I don't want to pay bills anymore, I don't want to work any more...I would just like to be told that I did a good job because I colored in the lines and now it's naptime. I don't want things to change. I'm tired of progressing. I miss the comfort of riding in the back seat of the car, where nothing can happen to you. Where you are safe because you're parents are driving. I miss school and knowing that tommorrow is school, and the next day is school, and then summer comes and goes and you just go back to school. One day, that cycle ended and that's when this adulthood trouble started. Suddenly people are asking questions like "what are you going to do with your life?" and you find yourself asking "how am I going to pay all my bills?" It's such a hard call too because I wouldn't trade Jon or Paisley for anything, even to go back to that, but it's just hard. Life is just hard. We don't get to always do what we want, we have to do what we need. Now I am driving the car. Now a little girl feels safe in my arms. The only thing keeping us going is looking around and saying "everyone else survived this...right?"


{family pictures}: autumn

We went out for some adventures in LaVerkin with Jake & Rachel to do pictures. We figured it was about time to make it official and take real pictures of the whole family. Jon made sure to brag to Jamie that she wasn't invited (she was very upset).


{blessings}: running water

I take so much for granted. I'm going to go ahead and group you in with me, WE take so much for granted. I feel more and more like I come from a spoiled generation that is only getting worse sometimes. At 4 o'clock this morning when I needed to go to the bathroom, I walked the 12 steps to my bathroom, one bathroom of 3 in my small townhouse, and when I pushed a little handle down, my toilet flushed. When I washed my hands clean purified water came out of my faucet and was warm because I wanted it that way. Had I wanted it cold, it could have done that too. This is amazing! Can you imagine how in awe our pioneer ancestors would have been! Indoor plumbing! Clean water! Warm or cold! I think I really realized this as I took a shower yesterday-it was helping my cold feel better to be in the warm shower with all the steam, something I don't think I could have enjoyed so easily 100 years ago. I was feeling very spoiled for ever thinking my life was hard. I think its a bit silly sometimes when people think that it would have been nicer to live back then in "simpler times." What is simple about getting dressed at 4 in the morning so you can go outside in the cold with the bears and go to the bathroom? Nothing. That sounds not simple and not fun. I actually laughed out loud while reading my scriptures the other night because Nephi was actually wishing the same thing. I think this was 3rd Nephi, but he was explaining this exact concept of how nice it would have been to lived previously in more simple and righteous times. If he's already wishing that back then, then we've got a lot of generations back to live in to reach this "simpler times" goal. I like running water. and google. and pacifiers. and cars. I'm feeling very blessed.


{consumer report}: tissues

I am a lover of fine tissue, and living the boogery existence that I do, I feel qualified to make recommendations. Having had allergies since the I can remember and living every day of my life with a runny nose, I have tried them all. Will my recent cold and the cold season upon us, I felt compelled to share my knowledge.


Puffs Plus with Lotion. Seems like a good idea, but causes me to break out around my nose every time. Which is so sad because they are so soft...

Puffs with the soothing scent of Vicks. Love, love when I am
super sick. These don't seem to flare up my acne like the lotion ones do, but they have the added softness and comforting smell.

Puffs Ultra. This is my go-to tissue for the everyday. Essential for my raw nose.

Basic Puffs. No go. Not good enough for my needs. I need something stronger, and more able to take the heat.

Now on to Kleenex.

Kleenex Anti-Viral. I like their Anti-Viral. I don't know if it actually helps, but its a stronger tissue and it meets my needs. It is also super soft.

Kleenex Super Big Tissues...I love these! They are huge and very very strong and I use them for allergy season. I would even say essential for allergy season. Try them you'll love them too because they are gigantic.

Holiday Kleenex which comes with standard kleenex tissue. This is what I grew up with, and not necessarily what I would recommend. The boxes are cute, but the tissue fails to pull its weight when it comes to colds and such. I just need more support when it comes to a tissue, and this just doesn't cut it.

Kleenex does win because they have a feature where you can create your own box! Had I the money to waste, I would most certainly take advantage of this awesome feature! In a world where everything is becoming more personal, you can now personalize your facial tissue! Perfect for Baby Showers, Weddings and Birthdays! Here you go junior, for your birthday we got you a box of kleenex with your face on it! Yay! Honestly though, I would be excited to get a box of tissue with my face on it, not going to lie. Currently I am using the Target knock off of Puffs Ultra and I'm super happy with them. They cost a dollar less and work every bit as well. Be warned: Do not buy the wal-mart knock off tissue. That's just cheap and they suck. Believe me, I know. Stay tuned for my next consumer report...


{crave} vs. {save}

Carmel Apple Cider. I NEEDED carmel apple cider. Those of you who have enjoyed the delicious delight of Starbucks carmel apple cider can appreciate what I am writing about. I needed it so much that I'm blogging about it. Yes, the desire is that bad. But to spend $4 for a cup, a single cup of carmel apple cider seemed a bit expensive. A bit TOO expensive. So, off I was in search of a replacement-what can I do I thought to myself. Lo and behold at Target-I found a 2 gallon jug of carmel apple cider-not even just apple cider, but carmel apple cider (they just add a couple more cups of sugar to apple cider to make it carmel) (speaking of which my upcoming post: 'I have a sugar addiction' is coming soon), but yes, 2 gallons for $2.98! A steal! And the spray whip cream was only like $2 or $3 more! Now I will enjoy carmel apple cider for days to come and have plenty to share!



This was the first day of the cold weather and Paisley was more than happy to cuddle up with me in her sling and my hoodie. We love going to Shroomies and getting hot soup on cold days!

These were actually taken the week before Halloween. We spent Halloween laying on the couch-I've been really sick with a cold and unfortunately I had to work both Halloween and the day after first thing in the morning. And we only got 4 Trick or Treaters this year! I am SO MAD about trunk or treat! It is so lame! Jon even put our fog machine inside some pumpkins this year to scare trick or treaters and we hardly had any! I'm so sad about it...and that I was sick. ug.